Sunday, June 26, 2011

US, Philippines to hold joint navy exercise

By Bong Garcia
Sun Star, Sunday, June 26, 2011

ALL is set for the holding of the 11-day joint Philippines and United States Navy exercise, a top Philippine Navy official announced Sunday.

The bilateral exercise dubbed as Cooperation Afloat Readiness and Training (Carat) 2011 will be held from June 28 until July 8, in Puerto Princesa City, Palawan and along the Sulu Sea.

The participants are the Naval Forces West (NFW) of the Philippine Navy (PN) based in Palawan and the Pacific Fleet of the United States Navy (USN).

NFW chief Commodore Edgardo Tamayo said the 11-day joint naval exercise is part of the Philippines-US Defense Treaty of 1951 that is being executed every year.

Tamayo said the main purpose of the activity is to strengthen the ties between the two Navies through exchanges of knowledge and skills in the field of navigation and naval operations, particularly maritime defense, port security, resource protection and disaster response.

Highlights of Carat 2011 are the personnel exchange between the two ships for the effective commutation of information between the PN and USN; friendship games; and PN-hosted and USN-hosted reception dinners to further strengthen the relationship between the two parties involved.

Civil Military Operations are also scheduled to reach out to the residents of Palawan, particularly Medical and Dental Civic Action at Barangay Tagabinet; Engineering Civic Action at Barangay Mangingisda Elementary School; and Community Relation Activity at Tagburos Elementary School and Gregorio Oquendo Memorial Elementary School.

Tamayo said that a community service and public affairs activity is also set in the form of free music lessons at Palawan State University Laboratory High School and Palawan National School.

To cap off the activity, Tamayo said the Philippine Marine Corps and the US 7th Fleet Band will hold a free band concert at the Puerto Princesa City Amphitheatre and at the NCCC Mall.

Tamayo said that members of the US Navy are also scheduled to visit the Puerto Princesa Underground River, the city’s biggest and most popular tourist destination.

“This is an opportunity for the Naval Forces West, the city of Puerto Princesa and the province of Palawan to showcase its beauty and its natural resources,” Tamayo said.

“The exercise will certainly prove its worth as all aspects of naval operations are being integrated as the two navies further their interoperability,” he added.

Tamayo added that he is confident that Carat Exercise 2011 in Puerto Princesa City will be a success.

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